Cornish Winter Break 9: Tintagel 1 – A Bridge to the Distant Past

Beginning my account of Tintagel, the next stage of my account of my Cornish Holiday.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this latest installment in my account of my Cornish winter break, which is the beginning of a ‘series within a series’ – a number of linked posts about Tintagel, mythical birthplace of King Arthur and an English Heritage site.

THE JOURNEY

To get from southeast Cornwall to Tintagel involves a journey across Bodmin Moor. My sister who was driving took what Satnav considered to be a short cut, which in brute distance terms it was, but that fails to take into account the relative quality of the roads involved. We found a space in the car park in the village (like many other places in Cornwall a former rotten borough), walked to the visitor centre only to find ti closed, and then headed for the castle.

HEADING TO THE CASTLE

The path down to the bridge which takes one into the castle grounds (of which more later) is very steep, and offers nothing to grip on to for support, so I opted for the Land Rover service instead (costs £1.50) as did my mother. The Land Rover drop off point is right at the bridgehead.

A NEW LANDMARK THAT COMBINES ACCESSIBILITY AND FUTURE PROOFING

I consider the new bridge that enables one to enter the castle grounds without descending right the valley floor and then climbing back up the other side to be a landmark in its own right, and as the driver of the Land Rover I travelled in explained, it is vital for another reason – before it was built the site was one major landslide away from being turned into an island, whereas now it will remain accessible for future generations. This is a place that definitely dates back to the 4th century, and maybe earlier (the Arthur connection is that whoever lived here then was rich and influential enough to still be importing stuff from the Mediterranean, Rome’s declining influence notwithstanding), and for it to have been cut off what have been a tragedy.

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The bridge.

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The surface of the bridge.

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Cornish Winter Break 8: Fowey

An account of my visit to Fowey.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this latest post in my series about winter holiday in Cornwall.

NARROW STREETS AND HEAVY FOOTFALL DO NOT MIX WELL

The town of Fowey (pronounced ‘Foy’ to rhyme with joy) sits on one side of a drowned estuary, with the old fishing village of Polruan, which I have previously visited and enjoyed, on the opposite side (for readers of Bernard Knight’s books this is the Polruan from which Crowner John’s sidekick Gwyn hails). We were there at a quiet time of year, and it was noticeably crowded even so, so I dread to think what it would have been like being there in the summer. I enjoyed it reasonably, but on the whole I cannot recommend it – there are better ways to spend a day in Cornwall than visiting what is for my money an overrated as well as overcrowded town.

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This car ferry route mkaes the Lynn Ferry look adventurous!

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Cornish Winter Break 7: Lanhydrock – Kitchens and Gatehouse

Completing my account of my visit to Lanhydrock.

INTRODUCTIONS

Following on from yesterday’s post about Lanhydrock I now complete my coverage of my visit there. As I type this I am listening to the final test match of the series in South Africa – England have made one good and one terrible decision thus far – they correctly batted first after winning the toss, but that came after inexcusably leaving out the spinner, Dom Bess. England have just reached the hundred mark with openers Crawley and Sibley still together (a top three of Crawley, Sibley and Burns, with Denly being eased out is starting to look a good prospect once the Surrey man recovers from his injury). Anywa, time to continue our look at Lanhydrock…

FROM HOUSE TO KITCHENS

Leaving the gift shop one passes some stuff about transport at Lanhydrock en route to the kitchens…

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THE KITCHENS

These are on an enormous scale, not surprisingly given the size of the household at its biggest (the family were effectively destroyed by World War One, between those who died in that conflict and those whose minds were destroyed by what they went through in those years). The rest of the story is best told by photographs…

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We were at Lanhydrock on Boxing Day, and here is an explanation of where that name comes from.

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THE FINISH

After we had finished looking round the kitchens we went to the cafe for refreshments, checked out an excellent second hand bookshop in the grounds (I found three splendid additions to my cricket library), looked round the gatehouse and finally walked back to the car park to head home.

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The gatehouse approached from the house.

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A pattern fo wear in this stonework that makes it look like someone has inscibed a T in the middle of it,
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Inside the gatehouse.

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Lookting towards the car park.
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Looking towards the house.

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The chapel partly obscured by one wing of the house.

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Cornish Winter Break 6: Lanhydrock – The House

The first of two poists about Lanhydrock, as I continue my series about my Cornish winter break.

INTRODUCTION

I am continuing my account of my Cornish winter break. My last post completed my coverage of the Eden Project, and this post is the first of two I shall be devoting to Lanhydrock, a very interesting National Trust house.

GETTING THERE

This trip occurred on Boxing Day, and my sister was not able to accompany us, so the party consisted of my parents, my nephew and myself. This meant that we got discounts on all tickets, due to my parents age and membership, me being classed as disabled and therefore my nephew counting as my designated companion for the trip. The car park is a fair distance from the house itself, and the walk is not flat, although the slope is fairly gentle. Only some of the house was open, but definitely enough to make it worthwhile.

THE HOUSE

As one approaches the house one first goes through a gate house set in a surrounding wall the principal value of which is decorative (the gate house actually started life as a hunting lodge, before the big house was built). The house is a very impressive building indeed, and the inside (such as we were able to see of it) lives up to the outside. The kitchens are separate from the main house, with a brief trip outside forming a natural break in ones exploration. There are also apparently some very fine gardens, but this being winter it was not a time to be exploring there.

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Cornish Winter Break 5: Eden Project (3)

My third and final post about this visit to the Eden Project – dealing with the Mediterranean Biome.

INTRODUCTION

This is my third and last post about our family outing to the Eden Project, covering the Mediterranean Biome.

MEDITERRANEAN IN CONTEXT

There are other parts of the world that have the same type of climate as the Mediterranean – parts of South Africa, southwestern Australia and parts of the USA, and they all feature in this Biome. There was much bird life in evidence in the Biome as well. My camera got steamed up and I failed to notice, so the photographs did not come out as well as I would have liked, but nonetheless I share them. After we had finished in this Biome we had a late lunch (sausage casserole with accompanying vegetables in my case, washed down with a bottle of locally brewed beer – from St Austell, the closest town of any significance) and then made our way back to the car park, availing ourselves of the bus from the visitor’s centre because I was getting tired by then (a legacy of the cancer that nearly killed me at the back end of 2018). I will certainly be visiting this place again in the not too distant future and would list at as an absolute must see place if you are visiting Cornwall.

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A plan of the Biome.

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These last few pictures were taken outside, on the way back to the visitor centre.

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Cornish Winter Break 4: Eden Project (2)

Continuing my account of the family outing to the Eden Project.

INTRODUCTION

In my last post I began my coverage of a family outing to the Eden Project, and in this post I continue it with my coverage of the new building next to the biomes, which is dedicated to stuff which is usually invisible.

MAKING THE INVISIBLE VISIBLE

This was time extremely well spent. As is my way I tell the rest of the story in pictures:

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What this building is all about (and as I hope the rest of these pictures convey, it is done magnificently).

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This creation is right in the centre of the building.

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A close up of one of the ‘smoke rings’ blown the machine in the centre of the building.

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Another close up of a ‘smoke ring’

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My next and final post about the Eden Project will deal with the Mediterranean Biome where we finished our visit.

Cornish Winter Break 3: Eden Project (1)

The first of several posts about the Eden Project in my series about my Cornish winter holiday.

INTRODUCTION

After a brief aside it is time to resume my coverage of my Cornish winter holiday with the first of what will be several posts about the Eden Project.

GETTING THERE

This was a family trip, and we travelled from my parents place by car. There is generous car parking provision, but you can also travel there by public transport (train to St Austell and then a connecting bus to the Eden Project). We just missed a bus from the car park to the visitors centre and walked there instead. This was my second visit, but the place had developed so massively from my first visit that it was effectively a new experience. After the purchase of tickets we decided what to do. We settled on the Walk Through Time, the new building and the Mediterranean Biome (the biomes, as you will see are remarkable structures whose architecture owes much to the legendary Richard Buckminster Fuller). Here are some early pictures before I take you on the walk through time:

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A shot taken in transit.

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For twitter users this is one way to contact the Eden Project.
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The biomes from above (three shots)

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The roof of the new building.

THE WALK THROUGH TIME

This is a wonderful lead in to the biomes and the new building, and there is only one real way to tell it, especially for me:

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The entrance the new building, which will form the subject of my next post.